Ashford Hospitality Trust, a real estate investment trust based in Dallas, has closed on a $36 million nonrecourse loan with Merrill Lynch Capital that is secured by five of the REIT's hotel properties.The loan, which includes a holdback provision for $8.2 million of funds targeted for capital expenditures for the five properties, bears interest at a rate of 325 basis points over the London interbank offered rate, Ashford said. It is interest-only for the first two years and contains a one-year extension option. Mortgages were granted as security for the loan on the Embassy Suites in Phoenix and Flagstaff, Ariz., and Syracuse, N.Y., and the Doubletree Guest Suites in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio. The REIT can be found online at http://www.ahtreit.com.

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